HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Family and friends waited at Richmond International Airport Saturday evening to welcome home Andre Ingram.
After a decade in the NBA’s development league, the former Highland Springs High School standout landed an NBA contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old received the surprise of a lifetime during his exit interview with the South Bay Lakers, the G League affiliate of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ingram said the surreal experience left him stunned at first.
“When they said that, I didn’t know what to feel," Ingram said. "I couldn’t really let it all out… Inside I was overjoyed, it just didn’t show. I couldn’t grasp it. How could you take it all in at that point?"
Ingram said the big turnout at the airport meant a lot to him because his journey began in Richmond.
"It’s amazing. Everyone here has seen me from high school on," Ingram said. "My career started here. Highland Springs and AAU tournaments. And my family taking me everywhere, family supporting me everywhere. Up through college, through the d-league, through now."
The friends and family that cheered him on said they were "very proud of Andre and all that he has accomplished.”
"These people have been here, and it means a whole lot -- a great deal that they’re here to enjoy and share in this with me," Ingram said.
The Richmond native graduated from Highland Springs High School is 2003, before playing at American University on a basketball scholarship.
Ingram’s professional career included stops with the now defunct Utah Flash of the G League, six seasons with the South Bay Lakers, and a year in Australia with the Perth Wildcats.